December 3, 2010

ArgustFest.org FAiR TraDe Holiday Bazaar

12/02 – Astro (Turf) Wars
12/12 – ArgusFest’s 7th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar
05/14 – Gilad Atzmon: Jazza for Gaza
April 2011 – Conference on War and Journalism
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Tonight ArgusFest is back with a new film about how corporate America manufactures fake grassroots activism. Astro (Turf) Wars looks at the tea party movement and other corporate backed campaigns.

Next Tuesday the Denver VOICE is having a benefit at Marlows. The Denver VOICE is a street newspaper that addresses issues of homelessness and poverty while giving our homeless and near homeless vendors an opportunity to make an income. It’s a really great paper and a much more sustainable way to help the homeless. Tickets are $30, which includes food and wine. There will also be a silent auction. Please come support the Denver VOICE. Tickets can be purchased online at: denvervoice.org/events

Also, mark you calendars for Sunday, December 12th. That’s when ArgusFest is having it’s 7th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar featuring live music and guilt-free holiday shopping. There’s still some vending space left so if your interested in having a table please contact me.

Stay Warm,
Jason Bosch

Astro (Turf) Wars:
How Corporate America is
Faking a Grassroots Revolution

Thursday, December 2
7:00 PM
Mercury Cafe
2199 California St, Denver

$5 suggested donation

In Summer 2009, something stirred in America. After Barack Obama and a Democratic congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, out of nowhere a citizens protest movement emerged that threatened to derail their agenda. Was this uprising the epitome of grassroots democracy? Or was it, as some said, an example of ‘astroturfing’? That is, the creation of fake grassroots (ie. Astroturf: get it?) groups, designed to put corporate messages in the mouths of seemingly independent citizens.

Fascinated by this concept of astroturfing and curious to find out if these accusations were true, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham hopped on a plane to investigate. Going undercover as a curious onlooker, his month-long journey took him over 5000 miles, 6 states and right into the heart of the ‘American Dream’. His three areas of investigation were:


After filming a passionate healthcare town hall meeting in rural Virginia, Taki sought out former health insurance PR man turned high profile whistle-blower Wendell Potter. Potter uses his own experiences of astroturfing to reveal its extensive use in the current campaign.

Climate Change

From a senate briefing by renowned sceptic Dr Fred Singer to infiltrating a series of oil-funded Astroturf groups, Taki investigates (with insight from PR man and author of ‘Climate Cover Up’ Jim Hoggan) how the energy industry too is using front groups and ‘independent’ experts to defeat the cap and trade bill and deny the science of global warming.

The Tea Party Movement

From the ‘Tea Party Express’ in Louisville to the first ever national tea party in Washington D.C., Taki examines this phenomenon and finds that its roots are not so natural after all. A visit to NYU professor and corporate propaganda expert Mark Crispin Miller provides an enlightening view on some of the fervent patriotic and anti-socialism themes of the movement.

The Free Market Movement

As the journey unfolds it becomes apparent that behind much of the uprising is the so-called Free Market Movement and in particular two groups called Americans For Prosperity and Freedomworks. As the investigation turns to whether it is mere ideology or corporate investment driving these groups, Taki uncovers the most startling and unnerving evidence yet of the scale on which this practice of astroturfing is taking place.

(Astro)Turf Wars is both a journey through a unique moment in American history and a thoroughly researched piece of investigative journalism. Through an examination of astroturfing and disinformation, we see how citizen democracy has been captured by powerful corporate interests. Moreover, the film sets out to expose and thereby render ineffectual this deceptive practice that threatens not only the heath of American democracy, but that of its citizens and the planet as a whole.

ArgusFest 7th Annual
Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar

Sunday, December 12
Noon to 4PM
Mercury Cafe
2199 California St, Denver

Join ArgusFest for our 7th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar and do your holiday shopping with a clean conscience. We have a variety of vendors and organizations participating offering gifts that were ethically produced and support social justice. We’re also excited to have live music by Doo Crowder, Laura Goldhamer, YeYe Organic Pop, and others. This is one of the funner events ArgusFest holds so I hope you’ll stop by.

Vendors and participants this year include:
Cruelty Free World
Pachyderm Power!
Ladies Sewing Circle
People of Hope Crafts
Knotty Gal Creations
Denver Metro Community Exchange
Emergency USA
Sweatfree Communities
The Denver VOICE
and More…

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